While I try to stay on top of all the digital board game happenings out there, I do tend to miss some. Okay, more than some. This one’s not my fault, though. Having never heard of developer BKOM Studios before today, I had no idea they were in the digital board game biz. Thankfully, a reader over at BGG tipped me off that not only are they making board games, but they’ve translated one of the most anticipated dungeon crawlers out there: Tomb of Annihilation.
Tomb of Annihilation is the latest in the Dungeons & Dragons Adventure System series of games, made popular in the early 2010s by games like Castle Ravenloft and Wrath of Ashardalon. Those games used a simplified version of the oft-maligned 4th edition of D&D. Considering that this title is based on a 5th edition campaign, The Tomb of Annihilation, I’m guessing that the mechanics have been updated to match 5th edition’s as well.
It really doesn’t matter much, as the Adventure System boils the RPG down into bite sized chunks that even kids can play without much difficulty. In other words, it focuses more on the “game” part of RPG than the role-playing. Those early games were light on story, offering mostly one-shot dungeons with a hint of continuity. This game seems to offer a more coherent campaign, but one still broken down by individual quests, which all boil down to dungeon crawling in some fashion. It’s kind of like Pathfinder Adventures, but the RPG elements aren’t quite as abstract. Oh, and this one has a board.
While the board game plays up to five players cooperatively, the Steam version is single-player only, allowing one player to control up to four adventures doing all sorts of adventurer type stuff. Casting spells, turning undead, finding traps, bonking baddies are all here in abundance. If you’re bemoaning the single-player aspect, you should know that they have mentioned multiplayer being a possibility in the future. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I don’t see solo play in cooperative games as a negative. That’s just me, though.
- Unique Quests: The procedural map generation allows every quest to remain unique even when replaying them multiple times.
- Over 30 Quests: The game features a mix of Main Story quests and Side quests.
- A board game experience brought to life: The game highlights most of the features from the popular board game, combined with features unique to the digital version.
- Craft your way to Victory: Collect rare crafting materials. Craft powerful weapons and armors to strengthen your heroes.
If you’re a RPGer who doesn’t have the time to get your fix, or just love the D&D Adventure System games or dungeon crawlers in general, this is a no-brainer. It’s available for both PC and Mac, but BKOM hasn’t ruled out a mobile version at some point down the road. Right now, however, there’s too much going on for tablets to handle. I will say, I just downloaded the Steam version and it is pretty shiny. It’s also currently on sale through October 18, so if you’re thinking of picking Tomb of Annihilation up, now’s the time.